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(Venture Beat)   Don't you hate it when you spend a year and a half writing a game nobody knows about, and some kid writes a knockoff in a week that becomes an instant hit?   (venturebeat.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, string trio, Hacker News, indie games, half, hate  
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9653 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Mar 2014 at 6:05 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-30 04:11:14 PM  
I'll have to check out the numberwang version.

.i6.photobucket.com

That's numberwang!
 
2014-03-30 04:35:38 PM  
The only problem is that it's a copycat game, as Sirvo, the makers of Threes pointed out in an open letter a couple of days ago. The letter shows the angst of modern creators who are powerless to do much about cloners, iterators, and homages that people might fail to realize are not the real thing.

This is why the anti-software patent people who say that copyright is enough to protect their work are wrong. 2048 isn't copyright infringement in any sense. A patent could've helped Sirvo.
 
2014-03-30 05:37:07 PM  
King Digital Entertainment began enforcing its copyright against cloners of Candy Crush Saga.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, since I've never played Candy Crush, but isn't it just a ripoff of Bejeweled itself?
 
2014-03-30 06:21:16 PM  
The way copyright works for games is a bit strange, and it makes simple concept-oriented games particularly vulnerable.

You can trademark the name, and even parts of the name in association with similar games. You can copyright the graphic design, the specific text of the rulebook, and other media-based assets of the game. You can copyright the computer program code of a game. But you can't copyright game mechanics. That is to say, apart from the text of the rules, you can't copyright the concept of how the game works.

This sort of thing goes back at least as far as some knockoff version of Monopoly, wherein among other differences the board wasn't laid out in a square.
 
2014-03-30 06:23:23 PM  
"King Digital Entertainment began enforcing its copyright against cloners of Candy Crush Saga. That made King unpopular, "

No, what made them unpopular wasn't legal actions against clones. It was broadly suing any use of the words "candy" and "saga", games that pre-existed King's "Candy Crush Saga", and games that are completely dissimilar such as "Banner Saga".

Image related:
No one looking for a match-3 game called "Candy Crush Saga" would be misled by this game called "Banner Saga".

s3.amazonaws.com

And in a final irony, Candy Crush Saga is itself a clone of CandySwipe.

img.talkandroid.com

The trouble with this legal landscape is the guy with the gold makes the rules. And King has lots of gold.
 
2014-03-30 06:24:48 PM  
FTFA: You know, 'simple to learn, impossible to master.'"

Wait, you guys are complaining about poor clones and you can't even get the Bushnell quote right? Hahhahahahahahah.
 
2014-03-30 06:37:35 PM  

zimbach: This sort of thing goes back at least as far as some knockoff version of Monopoly, wherein among other differences the board wasn't laid out in a square.


Except Monopoly, itself based on a previous game, is so freaking old it shouldn't be protected by copyright any longer.

But they have money, so....
 
2014-03-30 06:38:30 PM  

StopLurkListen: "King Digital Entertainment began enforcing its copyright against cloners of Candy Crush Saga. That made King unpopular, "

No, what made them unpopular wasn't legal actions against clones. It was broadly suing any use of the words "candy" and "saga", games that pre-existed King's "Candy Crush Saga", and games that are completely dissimilar such as "Banner Saga".

Image related:
No one looking for a match-3 game called "Candy Crush Saga" would be misled by this game called "Banner Saga".

[s3.amazonaws.com image 640x480]

And in a final irony, Candy Crush Saga is itself a clone of CandySwipe.

[img.talkandroid.com image 300x300]

The trouble with this legal landscape is the guy with the gold makes the rules. And King has lots of gold.



Suing the poor bastard that the Candy Crush assholes stole from doesn't make them look less like assholes either. Neither does intentionally copying other games just to be dicks, while simultaneously stealing Namco's IP. The makers of Candy Crush seem like serious, hardcore douchebags to me.
 
2014-03-30 06:40:20 PM  
A ripoff of a game having more success than the originals?  I'm sure the makers of Crush the Castle and Bejeweled are shocked that such a thing could occur.
 
2014-03-30 06:44:10 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: zimbach: This sort of thing goes back at least as far as some knockoff version of Monopoly, wherein among other differences the board wasn't laid out in a square.

Except Monopoly, itself based on a previous game, is so freaking old it shouldn't be protected by copyright any longer.

But they have money, so....


And all those Mickey Mouse copyright extension acts. I think we're about due for another one of those to crop up.
 
2014-03-30 06:46:11 PM  
Excuse me, I'm off to drink the world's bitterest beer and play Munchman
 
2014-03-30 06:49:19 PM  
My pron version rip off is ready to drop. Beefy Wings (TM). Look for it in the app store of your choice.
 
2014-03-30 06:57:46 PM  
Was the knock-off free?

That could explain some things....

I'd hate for my livelihood to depend upon the whims of iPhone users. That would suck ass. Don't blame yourselves dudes.
 
2014-03-30 06:58:19 PM  

untaken_name: FTFA: You know, 'simple to learn, impossible to master.'"

Wait, you guys are complaining about poor clones and you can't even get the Bushnell quote right? Hahhahahahahahah.


Not only that, mastery is an important part of the cycle

/game designer
 
2014-03-30 07:16:18 PM  

spamdog: Was the knock-off free?


Yes, it is.

And to the makers of Threes:

difficult ≠ better

The fact that only six people in the world have gotten 6144 and no one has beaten the game yet does not mean you made a better game.  If difficulty were the way we measured quality, ET for the Atari 2600 and Battletoads would be considered two of the greatest games ever made.
 
2014-03-30 07:26:24 PM  
I'm not sure how people play those Candy Crush Bejeweled type games without going insane after 15 minutes.
 
2014-03-30 07:30:55 PM  

Teufelaffe: spamdog: Was the knock-off free?

Yes, it is.

And to the makers of Threes:

difficult ≠ better

The fact that only six people in the world have gotten 6144 and no one has beaten the game yet does not mean you made a better game.  If difficulty were the way we measured quality, ET for the Atari 2600 and Battletoads would be considered two of the greatest games ever made.


Are you trying to imply that Battletoads ISN'T one of the two greatest games ever made? You, sir, have offended my dignity.
 
2014-03-30 07:49:28 PM  
Yet another example of how technology changes and people don't.

 A couple decades ago my dad, uncle and grandpa came up with a card game that had a board with it. It was a numbers game of sorts (I was too young to understand it very well). Anyway, after playing it many many times to work out the kinks, they took it to a famous game manufacturer, who shall remain nameless only because I can't say with certainty it was the folks I'm thinking of.

 Well, the company looked it over, thanked them for coming in, but declined to produce the game.

 Within that year, a game nearly identical to it was out in stores produced by that company. Naturally it had been changed *just* enough where it wouldn't be worth the time of a couple of 9-5'ers to take it to court. Such is life.

 The only upside it all of it was, in changing the game just that little bit, they ended up destroying some of the more intricate parts of it that made it interesting a re-playable. The game languished for a while and then quietly died.

/my dad still has their original game in the game closet.
//csb
 
2014-03-30 07:55:21 PM  
my grandfather was a plumber

thanks nintendo
 
2014-03-30 07:56:30 PM  
"Is Threes a better game? We think so," Sirvo wrote. "To this day, only about six people in the world have ever seen a 6144 and nobody in the world has yet to 'beat' Threes.

And that is why you're not selling as well.
 
2014-03-30 07:59:27 PM  

Theaetetus: The only problem is that it's a copycat game, as Sirvo, the makers of Threes pointed out in an open letter a couple of days ago. The letter shows the angst of modern creators who are powerless to do much about cloners, iterators, and homages that people might fail to realize are not the real thing.

This is why the anti-software patent people who say that copyright is enough to protect their work are wrong. 2048 isn't copyright infringement in any sense. A patent could've helped Sirvo.


And that is why patents suck. Instead of having the game 2048, which lots of people are playing, we'd only have Threes, which few people are playing.
 
2014-03-30 08:01:57 PM  

mongbiohazard: StopLurkListen: "King Digital Entertainment began enforcing its copyright against cloners of Candy Crush Saga. That made King unpopular, "

No, what made them unpopular wasn't legal actions against clones. It was broadly suing any use of the words "candy" and "saga", games that pre-existed King's "Candy Crush Saga", and games that are completely dissimilar such as "Banner Saga".

Image related:
No one looking for a match-3 game called "Candy Crush Saga" would be misled by this game called "Banner Saga".

[s3.amazonaws.com image 640x480]

And in a final irony, Candy Crush Saga is itself a clone of CandySwipe.

[img.talkandroid.com image 300x300]

The trouble with this legal landscape is the guy with the gold makes the rules. And King has lots of gold.


Suing the poor bastard that the Candy Crush assholes stole from doesn't make them look less like assholes either. Neither does intentionally copying other games just to be dicks, while simultaneously stealing Namco's IP. The makers of Candy Crush seem like serious, hardcore douchebags to me.


At least their IPO tanked.
 
2014-03-30 08:10:38 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: "Is Threes a better game? We think so," Sirvo wrote. "To this day, only about six people in the world have ever seen a 6144 and nobody in the world has yet to 'beat' Threes.

And that is why you're not selling as well.


It's not the game that's the problem, they didn't advertise.  Most little companies make that mistake, just assuming 'people will talk.' The copycats advertised, got an article published online, and likely added some kind of social spam element. This is par for the course. There are no protections. Angry Birds, Words With Friends, 'Saga' games, et al. None of those companies came up with the idea.  They just had the capital to polish and market them.
 
2014-03-30 08:12:23 PM  
I'm completely addicted to 2048.  I've repeatedly drained my phone battery playing it.
 
2014-03-30 08:17:04 PM  
I like reading stories about this type of thing.  You get insights into the strange ways that some people think. These game designers think that when they score a success then everyone should back off and let them have their moment in the the sun.

I think this mobile app market is more like a modern day goldrush.  Lots of people are making apps, looking for that gold. If you make an app that succeeds, it's like finding a gold nugget, everyone is going to want to start panning for gold right next to you.
 
2014-03-30 08:45:32 PM  
I hadn't heard of 2048 before this thread, but I have played Threes quite a bit recently.  After installing and playing 2048 for a bit, I really think it's the better of the two.  Just the slight modifications to the mechanics makes it so much more enjoyable than Threes.  I actually feel like when I get a game over, it's due more to my skill (or lack there of) moreso than just inevitability.
 
2014-03-30 08:47:03 PM  
I haven't reached 2048 yet, but I've reached "1024, a 512, and a few 256 and 128 laying around" before succumbing to the deadly "alternating 2, 4, 2, 4" death.

Why no I have not yet punched my monitor.  I have however gotten right up out of my chair and poured myself a stiff drink in annoyance.
 
2014-03-30 08:51:11 PM  
Is 2048 supposed to be reachable in every game?

I try to play smart, but a "good" game for me always involves a fair amount of luck.
 
2014-03-30 08:54:31 PM  

Teufelaffe: spamdog: Was the knock-off free?

Yes, it is.

And to the makers of Threes:

difficult ≠ better

The fact that only six people in the world have gotten 6144 and no one has beaten the game yet does not mean you made a better game.  If difficulty were the way we measured quality, ET for the Atari 2600 and Battletoads would be considered two of the greatest games ever made.


the only thing that makes ET impossible at the higher levels is that the fbi and scientist come on screen every 3 seconds and you need 60 seconds after you call the spaceship uninterrupted
 
2014-03-30 09:02:15 PM  

Birnone: I like reading stories about this type of thing.  You get insights into the strange ways that some people think. These game designers think that when they score a success then everyone should back off and let them have their moment in the the sun.


Imagine you spent 14 months writing a novel, then someone else took it and, in a week, changed just enough that it wasn't an identical copy (eg - did a "find and replace" on character's names, swapped out words for synonyms, changed the title, etc) and spammed the crap out of it on social media so it hit the NYT bestseller list.

How is this any different?
 
2014-03-30 09:11:35 PM  

untaken_name: Are you trying to imply that Battletoads ISN'T one of the two greatest games ever made? You, sir, have offended my dignity.


Battletoads was the pinnacle of NES game design and programming.

It was so good, nobody even cares that it was a blatant conceptual knockoff of TMNT.

/the best game is the best game, not the most original game.  People like playing 2048, flaws and all, so maybe it was a waste of time to spend so much time tweaking Threes to get it just right.
 
2014-03-30 09:44:41 PM  
beat 2048: right, down, left, down repeat ad nauseum
 
2014-03-30 09:48:50 PM  

studebaker hoch: Is 2048 supposed to be reachable in every game?

I try to play smart, but a "good" game for me always involves a fair amount of luck.



Some people have algorithms that win approximately  90% of the time.
 
2014-03-30 09:54:25 PM  
What the hell about Threes took 14 months? The concept is novel, but not that complicated, and it's been obviously proven that the actual implementation isn't hard - hell, I could probably do it on a really boring weekend.  I just don't see what about the concept took that long to develop.
 
2014-03-30 10:02:23 PM  

NeoCortex42: A ripoff of a game having more success than the originals?  I'm sure the makers of Crush the Castle and Bejeweled are shocked that such a thing could occur.


Well, Popcap isn't exactly crying themselves to sleep seeing as Bejeweled has still made them a ton of money, As for Crush the Castle... I've played it. Angry Birds is just plain better. Sometimes it comes down to who executes the mechanic better, and the first guy out of the gate has a disadvantage there. He doesn't know what doesn't work. The knockoff creators have the advantage of watching the innovator deal with the gaming industry equivalent of Slushy McFlatbottom before they take their turn. Crush the Castle had you make your own ammo loadout before starting a level. Angry Birds, aside from being more vibrant and colorful and whimsical, decided your loadout for you and just had you focus on where to shoot and when to activate abilities, a more intuitive setup for a casual gamer.

Threes has you try and line up 1's with 2's before you can start matching like to like. 2048 had the more intuitive setup, namely that you can just match like to like immediately. Plus people know their multiples of 2 more than they know their multiples of 3, meaning it's easier to tell just how well you're doing.
 
2014-03-30 10:15:39 PM  
Only one person in the world can come up with ideas at a time and any instances of two people having the same or similar ideas must obviously mean that one stole from the other. It's the only way.
 
2014-03-30 10:17:43 PM  

studebaker hoch: Is 2048 supposed to be reachable in every game?

I try to play smart, but a "good" game for me always involves a fair amount of luck.


I get the feeling that it is beatable in every game, but yeah, luck is a factor. I've won three times by using a sort of tetris strategy (not all that far from zombieshateme's directions), and the times since then that I've lost are due to a combination of bad luck and not anticipating the problem that the bad luck could cause.
 
2014-03-30 10:18:35 PM  

Teufelaffe: spamdog: Was the knock-off free?

Yes, it is.

And to the makers of Threes:

difficult ≠ better

The fact that only six people in the world have gotten 6144 and no one has beaten the game yet does not mean you made a better game.  If difficulty were the way we measured quality, ET for the Atari 2600 and Battletoads would be considered two of the greatest games ever made.


While difficulty doesn't equal better, it does contribute to their case here. I have Threes and it's addictive in part because it's difficult. It took me only 2 days to get the 192 square. It took me a month to get 384. It's difficult, but not impossible.

Add on that Threes is the more visually attractive game compared to the clones (2048 has the same colors of the 40 year old floor that used to be in my kitchen) and it's not ridiculous to pay $2 for a better game. And seriously, if you rather have the clone because it's free instead of the $2 original because of the price; maybe you shouldn't have brought that iPhone in the first place.
 
2014-03-30 10:20:47 PM  

Theaetetus: This is why the anti-software patent people who say that copyright is enough to protect their work are wrong. 2048 isn't copyright infringement in any sense. A patent could've helped Sirvo.


Yeah "we patent combining numbers to make bigger numbers." Or may addition, or powers of 2?
 
2014-03-30 10:29:29 PM  

untaken_name: FTFA: You know, 'simple to learn, impossible to master.'"

Wait, you guys are complaining about poor clones and you can't even get the Bushnell quote right? Hahhahahahahahah.


The "threes" game never ends, so it cannot be mastered. Derp.
 
2014-03-30 10:33:06 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: zimbach: This sort of thing goes back at least as far as some knockoff version of Monopoly, wherein among other differences the board wasn't laid out in a square.

Except Monopoly, itself based on a previous game, is so freaking old it shouldn't be protected by copyright any longer.

But they have money, so....


So, we play game backward, call it Communist Revolution.
 
2014-03-30 10:33:46 PM  

studebaker hoch: Is 2048 supposed to be reachable in every game?

I try to play smart, but a "good" game for me always involves a fair amount of luck.


Yeah. Basically try to move up and right (or down and left, it's arbitrary). So get 256 in the top left corner, now move in a snake pattern, so that on the top row, numbers are bigger from left to right, and on the bottom row, they're bigger from right to left.
 
2014-03-30 10:35:16 PM  

Teufelaffe: spamdog: Was the knock-off free?

Yes, it is.

And to the makers of Threes:

difficult ≠ better

The fact that only six people in the world have gotten 6144 and no one has beaten the game yet does not mean you made a better game.  If difficulty were the way we measured quality, ET for the Atari 2600 and Battletoads would be considered two of the greatest games ever made.


Not only that, they mention 2048 is simpler. That means they designed poorly, if more simple equals more popular.
 
2014-03-30 10:35:53 PM  
I figured out the "play it like Tetris" thing pretty fast.

Keep bigger numbers at the bottom (nothing worse than a trapped '2' on the floor surrounded by big numbers).

Take "down" moves before left-right, unless truly good.

Still haven't won the damn thing, and just came within ONE lousy move of the start of a chain I would have taken to the house.  My score was about 19k +, but I couldn't give a rip for the score.

Pure internet crack.
 
2014-03-30 10:54:09 PM  

Gunther: Birnone: I like reading stories about this type of thing.  You get insights into the strange ways that some people think. These game designers think that when they score a success then everyone should back off and let them have their moment in the the sun.

Imagine you spent 14 months writing a novel, then someone else took it and, in a week, changed just enough that it wasn't an identical copy (eg - did a "find and replace" on character's names, swapped out words for synonyms, changed the title, etc) and spammed the crap out of it on social media so it hit the NYT bestseller list.

How is this any different?


Did the ripoff game literally steal the code base of the original?

While I'm not gonna defend the copycats of this game, so much of the quality in a game or novel (or most creations) is about execution, not just the overall idea. For the novel analogy to work, either the ripoff game should literally be based off of the same code file, just with modified sprites; or, the ripoff novel should have the same overall plot, but different dialog and writing style.
 
2014-03-30 11:04:48 PM  
If threes invented the affordable airplane, 2048 added jet engines and gave the planes away for free.

small change, huge difference, free price that's actually "free" (no ads no nothing)
 
2014-03-30 11:12:45 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Theaetetus: This is why the anti-software patent people who say that copyright is enough to protect their work are wrong. 2048 isn't copyright infringement in any sense. A patent could've helped Sirvo.

Yeah "we patent combining numbers to make bigger numbers." Or may addition, or powers of 2?


No need to be unreasonable. Contrary to popular belief, most of us have no interest in writing claims that we know are unpatentable. Why waste time and money on shiat you can't be proud of?

Instead, you could write a very narrow set of claims, directed specifically to a game with swipable tiles in a specified size of field that combine according to the matching rules and are replaced with a new tile that's the sum of the combined tiles, with the blocking rules when things are not combinable and other rules for when and where new tiles are generated would both be something very new and different from the prior art, and would yet still be infringed by 2048 or any other similar games.The games are clearly very similar, and there weren't any games like it until Threes came out.
 
2014-03-30 11:19:56 PM  

The My Little Pony Killer: Only one person in the world can come up with ideas at a time and any instances of two people having the same or similar ideas must obviously mean that one stole from the other. It's the only way.


You stole that from the cracked podcast
 
2014-03-30 11:21:13 PM  
This is why if you're in the mobile gaming market, it's more cutthroat than the AA gaming industry.

Copyright as much as you can, because when asswipes steal your idea and end up making money, you can strike back. Sadly, you also need a lot of money with those copyrights.

That Candyswipe guy got farked over hard but with the King IPO bombing, maybe karma is catching up to King.

Hell, look how many FlappyBird ripoffs came out of the woodwork.
 
2014-03-30 11:29:19 PM  

eddievercetti: This is why if you're in the mobile gaming market, it's more cutthroat than the AA gaming industry.

Copyright as much as you can, because when asswipes steal your idea and end up making money, you can strike back. Sadly, you also need a lot of money with those copyrights.

That Candyswipe guy got farked over hard but with the King IPO bombing, maybe karma is catching up to King.

Hell, look how many FlappyBird ripoffs came out of the woodwork.


Unfortunately, none of those are copyright infringement. Candy Crush wasn't a copyright infringement of Candyswipe, DoofyBird isn't a copyright infringement of FlappyBird*, etc., any more than GIMP is a clone of Photoshoop.

Copyright really only protects you when the public wants  that specific item: they want the new Hulk movie, not the Bollywood "Angry Green Man" movie; they want the new Miley Cyrus album**, they don't want the Kidz Bob version; etc. But no one cares whether they play the original game or the clone, since their enjoyment is the same. Basically, copyright protects against piracy*** and counterfeits; not against imitators****.

*FlappyBird may be a copyright infringement of Super Mario Bros., but that's a different issue.
**Why, I don't know.
***Theoretically, anyway. Stick with me here.
****Pedantically, copyright can protect against imitators, but only when they start approaching that counterfeit-level. I only mention this so someone doesn't rush in and disagree with this one word out of my comment while agreeing 99% with the rest of it.
 
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